Five-story, 126,000-square-foot, LEED® Gold building features numerous structural and mechanical innovations, including a thermally activated, bubble-deck slab, providing radiant cooling as well as radiant heating on six levels.

BY JOHN O’REILLY

IOWA CITY, IOWA — The Visual Arts Building (VAB) at the University of Iowa is a marvel of both aesthetic design and mechanical engineering. Six years in the making and completed in October 2016, the award-winning, 126,000 square-foot structure blends the artistry of the renowned Steven Holl Architects (New York) with an array of innovative mechanical systems that smoothly integrate with Holl’s aesthetics while meeting the numerous, industrial-like requirements of this challenging space.…